Subsidizing the Church in Jerusalem
Sir, - The churches owe millions in taxes to the municipality ("Churches owe Jerusalem Municipality hundreds of millions in property tax," December 23) but I, and thousands of other Jewish senior citizens of Jerusalem, have to pay heavy taxes. In other words, Israeli pensioners are subsidizing the church. I find that scandalous, and most un-Christian.
Sir, - As a Roman Catholic, I would hope that the Vatican will pay a sufficient amount of what it owes to cover the city services it receives.
The Roman Catholic Church should act promptly and count its many blessings.
The City of Jerusalem and the State of Israel have dealt fairly with the Vatican.
Sir, - While the editorial "Hanukka and Hellenization" (December 23) was praiseworthy, I would like to give a different interpretation.
The Hanukka story took place in the area of Modi'in. Although its motto is "the city of the future," it ignores its rich history.
Beautiful parks were designed, yet none displays any of the wealth of archaeological remains discovered. The ancient Roman road in the area was destroyed because it didn't fit with the landscaping plans. A rare, beautiful 2000-year-old oil press complex was released for destruction by the Antiquities Authority. Some believe the oil produced there would have been pure enough for use in the Temple. Found in Modi'in, home of the Maccabis, it was swept away two days before Hanukka last year for a new development.
The uncaring attitude of the authorities parallels Hellenization.
Sir, - Moshe Feiglin should be allowed to stay in the Likud and keep the party from leaning too far to the Left ("Feiglin: Netanyahu trying to lynch me," December 25). Feiglin's actions - those for which he was convicted - were no worse than those continually organized by former Histadrut leader Amir Peretz. The latter, although never prosecuted, caused much more damage to the country than anything Feiglin ever did.
Sir, - To our great dismay, the Likud is at it again. Some months ago there was a referendum in the Likud about disengagement. The majority voted against it but Sharon decided to go against his voters' wishes. We thought only Sharon could behave like that.
So here's Netanyahu again ignoring the votes of thousands of Likud members and trying to oust Moshe Feiglin from the party.
An old saying comes to mind: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Many of us will think long and hard before we waste our votes on these guys again.
Sir, - Does Binyamin Netanyahu believe Martin Luther King was a criminal? I ask because Moshe Feiglin committed nonviolent crimes of civil disobedience, exactly the same sort of thing Mr. King was likewise accused of committing in his day.
The fact that Netanyahu is attempting to disenfranchise members in good standing of his party leads me to the unfortunate conclusion that he is less a democrat than a hypocrite. I am more disenchanted with Netanyahu today than I was a mere three days ago.
DAVID J. HEIMOWITZ
Sir, - Binyamin Netanyahu's vindictive machinations to keep Moshe Feiglin out of the Likud will put the nail in the coffin, not only on Netanyahu's political aspirations, but also on the Likud.
Sir, - Further to David Schor's letter ("Rivlin's hutzpa," December 23) there is no point in complaining to Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin about his comments when we, the gullible public, are really to "blame" for the lack of "decent" Knesset members.
Mr. Schor's letter bought to mind something I heard a few weeks ago regarding politicians and elections: "Never vote, it only encourages them."
From the heart
Sir, - The debate between Orthodox Rabbi Shafran and Reform Rabbi Yoffie will only damage the Jewish people's interests in the long run.
I would just tell them from heart:
Try to understand the Torah; do not alter anything but try to walk in God's ways
don't forget Shabbat and Shema Yisrael; they have kept us together
enjoy the fact that it is possible to keep kosher in America, at reasonable prices
love and respect your neighbors and their religions.